Monday, August 10, 2009

My First Roll Student

A routine tour Saturday turned into one of those milestone days in my growth as a kayaking instructor — I was the guide for a shop trip to Sandy Point on Kiawah Island. This is a favorite of mine; it has some distance, and we get to cross the Stono Inlet which can make for some fun kayaking on a windy day.

I had a great group, including new Sea Kayak Carolina students Keith and Samantha. In a class the previous weekend, Scott had told Samantha that he believed she was a natural rolling candidate. She really was enthusiastic to learn and asked if I could help her.

I'm an ACA Level 3 Coastal Kayaking Instructor but I don't have a rolling endorsement in my instructor profile yet, so I agreed to give her some "unofficial" pointers on the beach during our lunch break. She was a natural and absorbed my instruction like a sponge — and remarkably I had my first solo rolling instructional success just 35 minutes later.

It's a great feeling to see that look on someone's face when they figure how effortless a complex maneuver like rolling a kayak can be when executed correctly.

Samantha is a natural roller and will probably soon be performing better rolls than I can, but that's alright because I can still say I taught her how to roll.

- William

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